Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Candlemas Eve
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
      DOWN with the rosemary and bays,
        Down with the misletoe;
      Instead of holly, now up-raise
        The greener box, for show.
 
      The holly hitherto did sway;        5
        Let box now domineer,
      Until the dancing Easter-day,
        Or Easter’s eve appear.
 
      Then youthful box, which now hath grace
        Your houses to renew,        10
      Grown old, surrender must his place
        Unto the crispèd yew.
 
      When yew is out, then birch comes in,
        And many flowers beside,
      Both of a fresh and fragrant kin,        15
        To honour Whitsuntide.
 
      Green rushes then, and sweetest bents,
        With cooler oaken boughs,
      Come in for comely ornaments,
        To re-adorn the house.        20
Thus times do shift; each thing his turn does hold;
New things succeed, as former things grow old.
 
 
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